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You Can Be My Wingman Any Time

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Sebastian smiled as he leaned back and put his arm around the back of the booth. The drinks were flowing and the spirits were rather high in the officer's mess, most of their squadron celebrating with them, buying their drinks, ever since the news had broken of their attendance at Top Gun. “Here’s to finding out if we really are the best of the best,” he toasted, clinking his beer against Tristan’s. “Pack your bags for Miramar. Nothing like training in southern California.”

“The best part,” Tristan slurred, his dirty blond head bobbing dangerously close to Sebastian’s, “is getting to see David and Trent again.”

“I don’t usually enjoy kicking my friend's asses but for Slider and Babyface and the chance to catch up on the beach, I’ll make an exception,” he smirked at Tristan. He slid an arm around his RiO’s shoulders. “You’re drunk!”

Tristan laughed as he maneuvered out from under the arm and almost fell out of the booth. “I’m not that drunk Smythe!”

Sebastian raised an eyebrow. “We both know you get sloppy when you’re wasted.” He smiled as color flooded the others cheeks. “Don’t worry; I’ll take care of you. And not hit on you too much. But you owe me a night of the same when we get to Miramar.”

Tristan tilted his head back and forth considering. “Deal. I just better not wake up in your bed...again.”

“That was one time, and I didn’t even sleep there. But I was there to make sure you didn’t vomit in your sleep,” he grumbled. “And I had a much better offer for that night too.” Sebastian pushed Tristan’s shoulder. “Go get ‘em Viper. Just don’t show up hungover, or still drunk, and expect to fly with me.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it King Crab,” Tristan mock saluted as he stood up. “Congratulations to us!”

Sebastian “King Crab” Smythe was a fighter pilot with the US Navy and Tristan “Viper” Moore was pretty much his best friend and RiO. They had been selected from their squadron to train at Top Gun, and they’d heard earlier in the week that friends of theirs from flight school, David “Slider” Thompson and Trent “Babyface” Nixon would also be attending. Sebastian was looking forward, not only to seeing his friends, spending time in southern California where the base that hosted Top Gun was located, but also to proving to everyone that he was, the best of the best. Snappish and demanding in the air, Sebastian has never made a mistake and does not tolerate them being made around him, earning him his call sign ‘King Crab’ On the ground, this reputation has followed him into the bedroom and he’s known for being a love ‘em and leave ‘em guy. The only person who has ever been able to successfully face down Sebastian, earning him his nickname Viper, was Tristan, who then went on to become not only his RiO but his best friend. If you asked Sebastian or Tristan, Top Gun is where they belong.

***

“What’s the deal Trouty,” Blaine asked once they’d launched from their carrier. They were in the air with Slider and Babyface, exploring the possibility of an enemy aircraft in their airspace. David ‘Slider’ Thompson was a very good pilot, and Blaine respected him, about as much as he could respect anyone who played strictly by the rules.

“We’ve got one incoming,” Sam ‘Trouty’ Evans replied. “On our left.” Sam was Blaine’s RiO and the two had become fast friends since they were assigned together. Sam wasn’t afraid of having a little fun and didn’t always try to talk Blaine out of the stupid things he wanted to do; not that he could.

Flying was the one thing that meant anything to Blaine ‘Killer’ Anderson. Not only did he get to break the speed of sound, and fly precision machines, usually equipped with weapons of destruction, but he got to do it while sitting front man to probably the only person in the world he knew he could trust, could count on to have his back. The fact that they flew with and ago against, pilots from around the world that were almost as good as they were was just an added bonus. Not that they were allowed to use the weapons they were equipped with. Even when enemies entered their airspace unannounced, the rule was, don’t fire until fired upon. But then again, Blaine had never been fond of the rules.

“Slider, you got that?” Blaine asked.

“Roger. Babyface you hear that?” David asked his RiO, Trent.

“Got it,” Trent said. “I’ve got radar contact.”

“I’ll get a visual. Slider, you come in behind them,” Blaine commanded.

“And I’ll serve them up on a platter,” Sam laughed.

“Babyface, you see if he’s brought company?”

“Doesn’t look like it, Slider,” Trent said. “Trouty you see if he’s got a partner?”

“That’s a negative, it looks like he’s a lone duck,” Sam said.

“Slider, I’d like to go head to head with him,” Blaine said. “See if he wants to play.”

“Take it easy Killer,” David replied. “I don’t like the looks of this. I’m going to drop back and go high, see if he’s really alone.”

“He’s closing in and coming right at us Killer,” Sam said once the other plane had dropped back.

“Okay buddy, let’s see what he wants,” Blaine said mostly to himself. But suddenly a second aircraft appeared. “Shit there’s two of them!”

“Not only are there two of them, but I don’t think anyone has been this close to that kind of aircraft before,” Sam exclaimed with a twinge of excitement as he looked out the canopy’s glass as the two foreign jets sailed by.

“Slider, you go after the first one we saw, I’m going after the second one,” Blaine instructed.

“Damn it, I lost him in the sun,” David said. “Shit, what’s he doing? Can you see him, do you have a visual Babyface?”

“I see him, I’ve got him,” Trent said. “He’s coming around, on our tail. We’ve got to get out of here Slider.”

“Fuck, he’s all over us. I can’t shake him.”

“Our guys’ dead ahead Killer,” Sam said.

“I’m going for a missile lock,” Blaine said as he took the stick and flicked on the controls. “Let’s see if we can scare this son of a bitch.” Focusing on his controls, Blaine maneuvered his aircraft until he got the tone of a successful missile lock on the enemy plane. “C’mon baby lock, lock up.” He cheered when he got a lock on the other aircraft.

“We nailed him Killer. He’s packing up and going home,” Sam smiled.

They didn’t have long to celebrate though before Trent broke through on the coms. “Slider, we’ve got to get away from this guy before he gets a missile lock on us.”

“What the fuck is this?” David swore. “Son of a bitch is engaging us. He’s got missile lock.”

“Just get us out of here.”

David called over the coms to their commanding officers. “This guy’s all over me, and he’s got us in a missile lock. Do I have permission to fire?”

“Do not fire unless fired upon, Slider,” came the command.

“Trouty, there they are right below us,” Blaine said.

“The other aircraft is in perfect position, right on Slider’s ass,” Sam said.

“No way. He’d have fired by now if he was going to,” Blaine admitted. “He just wants to rile us up. If we can’t engage this son of a bitch, let’s see what other kinds of fun we can have with him.”

“Killer, get your ass down here and get this fucker off me,” David yelled.

“Easy Slider, calm down. Break right and help me engage.” Blaine cut right, which helped cut the distance between him and the other aircraft as it cut right following Slider as well. Knowing he couldn’t very well shoot the other aircraft, he inverted his plane and slid over until the two aircraft canopies were separated by very little space.

“Is this supposed to be your idea of fun Killer,” Sam laughed.

“Good morning sunshine, this is your wake up to get up and go home,” Blaine singsonged as he flipped the other pilot off.

Sam took out his iphone, snapping a picture as he continued to laugh. “Smile for the birdie.”

Blaine pulled his plane away, allowing the other aircraft the opportunity to disengage and go back to where it had come from. “Sometimes I crack myself up.”

“This is one hell of picture Killer,” Sam said. “Too bad I can’t put it up on Instagram.”

“Your ass is free Slider,” Blaine said, “they’ve packed up and gone home. We’ve had enough fun and we’re running low on fuel so I’m heading back. We’ll see you on deck.”

“We’re running low on fuel too Slider,” Trent said. “Time to head back.” Slider didn’t immediately respond or move the plane in any way. “Slider? David? C’mon we’re on fumes.”

Blaine was lining up his landing on the carrier and he could hear Trent still trying to get a response out of David. “Trouty, Slider’s in trouble. Hang on!”

“Shit Killer, we’re low on gas. We need to land this sucker!” Sam swore as Blaine almost landed their jet but then pulled them up and back into the air, immediately circling back. “What are you doing? We don’t have enough fuel for this.”

Over the coms, they were commanded to land as well. But Blaine shook them off the way he always did when he got his mind stuck on something. And now his mind was stuck on his fellow pilots.

“Slider’s in trouble, I’m not leaving my wingman,” Blaine said. “We’ve got enough as long as we head back in the next few minutes.” He pulled up along the side of Slider. “Fun and games time is over, time to head home.”

“I don’t know Killer,” Trent said. “That enemy aircraft fucked him up good. I don’t know if he can do it.”

“Listen to me Slider. I’m right here,” Blaine said. “I’m going to be right here, you just have to follow me in on my wing. It’ll be okay.” Slider didn’t respond. “I’m not leaving without my wingman.” He talked Slider though it, in soft, gentle tones, and while it wasn’t the prettiest landing, Slider was able to safely land.

***

Blaine and Sam stood together at attention outside their commanding officer's office. They hadn't been on deck long when they'd been found and summoned to his office. It wasn't the first time; it probably wouldn't be the last.

“I'm sorry,” Blaine said out of the corner or his mouth to Sam.

“No you're not but it's okay,” Sam replied. “You did what you thought was right like you always do. And you helped get Slider and Babyface down safely.” He let out a deep exhale. “After all this time, you think I didn't know you were going to do that?”

Blaine stayed silent as the door opened and Slider stepped out. His eyes were bloodshot and he seemed smaller, curled in on himself. “Bye,” he said barely above a whisper as Blaine looked at Sam who just shrugged his shoulders.

“Anderson, Evans,” Stringer's voice boomed. “In here now.”

They entered the office and went to sit down in the twin chairs.

“Don't even think about sitting down.” Stringer leaned over the desk. “What the hell do you think you were doing Anderson? That aircraft is not your own piece of private property despite the fact that your name is painted on the side. When you are given the order to land it; you get your ass out of the sky and on deck as quickly as possible.” He came around to the side of the desk and stared down Blaine. “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't necessarily cash. One of these days your call sign isn't just going to be ironic.”

Stringer moved back to the other side of his desk and sat down. He pushed a pair of gold wings across the desk. “As you know, Thompson and Nixon were set to leave the day after next for Top Gun in Miramar. But after what happened up there, your little stunt, Thompson has resigned his wings.” He looked at Sam. “He's got a wife. Kids too and is just thinking about his family. You get that right Evans?”

“Yes sir,” Sam said. He looked over at Blaine, surprised David had resigned. “Maybe he'll change his mind, sir?”

Stringer sighed. “We can only hope. But Top Gun won't wait for him. This puts me in a very difficult position. I now have to find a new pilot and RiO to send to Top Gun. There isn't really another way around this. So instead of busting your asses over what happened, I have to reward you. I'm giving you your God damned dream Anderson. You and Evans are going to Top Gun.”

Blaine looked over at Sam and cracked a small smile.

“Don't make me regret it.”

“Sir, no sir,” Blaine and Sam echoed.

“Dismissed!”

***

That call from Trent was one of the worst ones Sebastian had ever had to take. David confirmed the news, as he told Sebastian the story of what had happened. Even though his friend had no real reason to explain how or why this particular dog fight had shaken him, he praised his fellow pilot, Blaine ‘Killer’ Anderson, who’d helped guide him down, and talk him through safely landing instead of possibly crashing his jet and doing God knows what to himself and Trent. It wasn’t that Sebastian wasn’t glad that David and Trent were safe, but something about it bothered him. Sebastian had a feeling that left to his own devices, left on his own, David would have come out of it and landed on his own, a little rattled, but not so shaken that he would have resigned his wings.

Sebastian and Tristan hated what has happened, but unfortunately, that was the nature of the job. Sebastian was feeling a little down as he slumped into the briefing room and sat down on one of the cushioned benches. He’d be sure to keep an eye out for this ‘Killer’.

Blaine had ridden in the night before. He and Sam had gone out for drinks and called it an early night. He was listening to on of the instructors Bryan 'Jester' Ryan talk about the program, the ranking and being the best of the best when he tuned out for a moment. He looked around the room making brief eye contact with a taller gentleman that had this almost telling smirk on his face. He licked over his lips and turned away, before turning to look again.

“B..,” Sam shook his head, “we didn’t get to Top Gun for you to check out the competition and take them home.”

Blaine shook his head, “no I’m simply trying to figure out who’s the best.” He turned and winked at Sebastian again, but stopped short in his seat from leaning back to Sam when he heard a voice.

Sebastian was listening to the instructor give them their first official briefing, although it wasn’t really anything he didn’t know. This had been one of his goals, something he was working towards, since his graduation from flight school. He felt a pair of eyes on him and turned his head just enough to catch the eye of a pilot just ahead of him. His eyes drifted down for just a moment taking in the other, lips twisting into a smirk. So that was Blaine Anderson. Sebastian felt confident that he could handle him.

“The best are on this plaque back here, and they have the option of coming back here to be instructors at Top Gun...,” Cooper Anderson said as he stepped back through the center of the room and winked at his younger brother, “I’m sure you that think you will be on that wall?”

Blaine looked up at him “Yes sir.”

Cooper gave him a half-cocked look, “that’s rather arrogant, don’t you think?”

Blaine looked up at the other knowing he was testing him a bit, “it could be considered that, sir.”

Cooper looked at him with a smirk, “but that’s the kind of attitude I want in the pilot's coming out of here. We are the best, and we should let others know that we are the best of the best. Everyone’s dismissed, don’t get too hammered tonight. We have an early morning 0600.”

Sam was stepping over Blaine just as Sebastian cracked out, “the plaque for the alternates is downstairs in the ladies room.”

Sam laughed, “Ahahah, you kill me Crab…"

“And, I’ve got your number.” Blaine stood then and stepped aside to wait a moment to speak to Cooper. He always felt slightly awkward in situations like this when it came to his brother, and although under normal circumstances Blaine would not have been allowed to go to Top Gun due to familial intentions, an exception was made due to his needing to be a last minute addition to this class.

“So umm, how’s mom,” He asked once the room cleared the rest of the way out.

“You would know if you called more often B,” Cooper said, “but I get it that things have been crazy for you. Come by the house, tomorrow after class. We can take her to dinner, and you can fill us in on all things work related.”

Blaine nodded, “yeah. I can do that.” He stepped out of the classroom.

***

Celebrating their arrival at Miramar found Sebastian and Tristan at a bar just off base in their dress white uniforms. The bar was quite crowded, and they were not the only ones in uniform inside.

“So that was Anderson today,” Tristan said, tipping up his bottle of beer.

“Apparently,” Sebastian shrugged his shoulders. “Cocky little bugger, but otherwise not too much to be concerned with, I don’t think.” His eyes scanned the bar and he noticed a strikingly familiar face. “Excuse me for a moment,” he said said, “I think I see someone I used to know.”

Sebastian ordered two new bottles of beer and walked down to the end of the bar where the other man was waiting to place his order. “Hunter Clarington. Fancy seeing you here,” he offered the other man one of the two new beers in his hand.”

Hunter turned around, blue eyes looking almost straight into green ones. “Smythe.” He took the beer and twisted off the cap, taking a long sip while his eyes dragged over the other. “It’s been a while. Look at you. Although you always were comfortable in a uniform.”

“Well, I appreciate you noticing,” Sebastian laughed. “But you say that as if you’re not.” His eyes drifted over the jeans and tight tee shirt Hunter was wearing. “You look good though Clarington; real good. A sore sight for these eyes.”

“Still, as big a flirt as ever I see Seb.”

“You love it and you know it, Hunt,” Sebastian said as he leaned in a little bit closer to the other.

Hunter put a hand up, his hand pressing against the center of Sebastian’s chest. “Easy there, Smythe. Let me guess? Navy pilot. Here for Top Gun?”

Sebastian's eyes flicked down to Hunter’s hand on his chest and then back up to his face. “Not surprised you put it together given your family’s background. Please tell me you’re not disappointed.”

Hunter chuckled. “Hardly. Wanting to be the best of the best? Flying precision machines equipped with weapons? That pretty much screams the Sebastian Smythe I used to know.”

“You say that like you really knew me.”

“I like to think I knew you well enough,” Hunter challenged.

“You wish.”

“No, I think those fantasies were all yours, Seb.” He took another drink of his beer. “Look. I’m here and you’re here, and there is no need for it to be awkward. But I need you to dial back the flirting.”

“Does that really sound like me, Hunt?” Sebastian snarked. “Besides, you tell me to dial back the flirting but your hand is still on my chest.”

Hunter pulled back his hand. “Smythe, I’m serious.”

Sebastian held up his hands and took a step back. “Your loss Hunter. Your loss.” He walked back to where he’d left Tristan.

“Trouty, C’mon, even you can get a guy in a place like this,” Blaine laughed as he pulled his friend towards the door of the bar. It wasn’t a gay bar, but it definitely had a mixed crowd.

Sam laughed as they looked around, “maybe someone will at least talk dirty to me.” He followed Blaine further into the bar and ordered them a couple of beers. He looked over at him, “you said earlier you wanted to know who was the best of the best. He’s right there. Sebastian Smythe. He really is the best, he gets under your skin, and it’s almost as if he waits for you to make a mistake.”

Blaine looked at Sebastian from a distance, with a look in his eye. He didn’t really know how to process that information before someone else familiar to them was sliding up behind.

“Hey Viper,” Sam said as he looked up at Tristan, “I thought you were planning to be in the front seat.”

“When you fly with the best, it feels like you are,” Tristan replied, tagging a swig from his beer. “Who’s ass did you kiss to get in here? I mean, you must have been born under a lucky star. First the tango with the MiGs and then falling into Slider and Babyface’s spot here at Top Gun.” He gestured for Sebastian to come over. “You guys are infamous.”

“Make that notorious,” Sebastian said, with a clap to Tristan’s shoulder. “Hey there Trouty. It’s been a while. Still got the best lips I see.” He cut his gaze to Sam’s partner; Blaine. “Sorry to hear about Slider. David and I were like brothers from another mother in flight school.”

Blaine looked at Sebastian as he cut a gaze to Sam, and licked over his lips. The attraction was undeniable, but something about the other just rubbed him crossways. He looked up, “and why wouldn’t you still be? He was s a good pilot, still is, regardless of what happened.”

Sam sipped his beer.

“Of course, he is,” Sebastian said. “But it’s not so easy to stay in touch. We were looking forward to catching up here. Until you guys had that run in.” He leaned in between Blaine and Sam, his body turned to face Blaine, as he reached to put his empty beer bottle on the bar. “So tell me, Killer, you need any help? Figuring out just who the best is?”

Tristan looked at Sam and raised his eyebrows. Not that he’d expected Sebastian to be happy to meet David and Trent’s replacement, but this… this was a different sort of reaction.

Blaine looked at the other, “Oh I definitely understand that. He sipped his beer and looked up at Sebastian as his body turned to face him, “Oh I think I have it pretty much figured out.” He cut an eye at Sam and then moved his eyes back to Sebastian, “do you need a refresher?”

Sam looked at Blaine and motioned to the bartender for 2 more drinks.

Sebastian let his eyes drop to Blaine’s lips for an instant before he looked him back in the eye. “You know, I heard that about you. That you like to work alone. That’s admirable. It’s certainly lonely at the top.” He shook his head at the mention of more drinks. “I’ve already had my drink fill for tonight. But you go ahead, drink up, and I’ll try not to show you up too bad tomorrow.” Sebastian winked. He looked over at Tristan. It was still early and he didn’t want to leave but he wasn’t going to risk screwing up his first day flying by being hung over. He hoped Tristan got the point.

Blaine looked over at the other and finished off his beer and slid it to the counter. “Don’t count on it, I don’t show up that easy.” He finished off his beer and slid it to the counter, grabbing the other from Sam as it was brought out.

Sam laughed as the other two walked away, “don’t let them get to you. They were abused children.”

Blaine shook his head giving Sebastian another glance up and down, “I’m not worried about it I’m just thinking about how this is going to be a lot of fun.” He sipped his drink just as a couple of other gentlemen walked in, “I think it’s your turn.”

“See you boys tomorrow,” Tristan said, downing his beer and following Sebastian to a pool table towards the back.

Hunter squeezed in between a couple of uniforms, raising a hand to the bartender. “Another please,” he held up his now empty bottle. He jostled the man beside him slightly and he turned to apologize. “I’m sorry, I didn’t make you spill did I?”

Blaine turned and looked towards the pleasant voice just as he was about to suggest to Sam they get a table. He shook his head and smiled, “no you didn’t, but if you insist that you did and want to buy me a replacement you’re more than welcome.” Blaine smiled and Sam rolled his eyes. Blaine extended his hand to the other man, “I’m Killer.”

“Well, when you put it like that,” Hunter chuckled, “it’s the least I can do for a sailor.” He gestured for another beer and waited, handing it to the dark haired man beside him. “That’s quite the name… Killer. Your parents must not have liked you very much.” He shook the hand offered. “Call me Hunter. And yes, that’s my real name.” He looked over to the other blonde man. “And you are?”

Blaine laughed, “sorry that’s my call sign; real name’s Blaine Anderson,” he took the beer with a smile and nodded, “I can definitely call you Hunter.”

Sam looked to Hunter and swallowed dryly. He wasn’t quite sure what he was witnessing, but he complied and smiled at the other, “I’m Sam Evans. You’ll have to excuse my friend he was raised in a barn.”

“Call sign, huh. That must make you a pilot,” Hunter mused. “I think I might like Blaine better.” He nodded at Sam. “Nice to meet you, Sam. I don’t think I’m going to hold that against him, though. Doesn’t seem fair.” He swallowed a mouthful of beer. “I guess flying is a pretty exciting life to live.”

Blaine nodded, “Yeah you could say that. It’s not often you feel on top of the world and have all kinds of power.” He sighed and licked over his lips as he sat the bottle down, “not often you can say you are the best and are proven to be the best at something either.” He smiled, “can I get you something to drink Hunter? And maybe dinner tomorrow night?”

“The best huh?” Hunter asked. “So how exactly does one get proven to be the best at something Blaine?” He laughed. “I’m still fine with this beer for now, but maybe in a bit. Maybe we could find a table, sit down, and talk about maybe having dinner. I wouldn’t want to pull you away from your friend,” he nodded at Sam.

Tristan watched as Sebastian lined up a shot and then he pointed with his cue towards the bar. “Isn’t that the guy you went to talk to earlier? The one you used to know; with Killer and Trouty?”

Sebastian stood up to his full height, hands gripping his pool cue tightly as he saw Hunter with Blaine and Sam. “Huh. Looks like it.” His brows furrowed. “I don’t think Clarington’s really into pilots, though.”

Sam took the moment to interject for Blaine, “to be graded the best at Top Gun of course.” His phone rang and he looked at the screen, “it’s Mercy gonna run.” He slid out of the bar to go take the call.

“See you tomorrow morning,” Blaine said and waved off his Rio. He then looked at Hunter, “Sam was right. Maybe you’re not necessarily proven, but you have to prove yourself.” He reached to brush his fingers over the other mans'. “How can I prove to you that I am worthy of dinner out? Or at least another drink.”

Hunter turned and headed for a booth, turning to crook a finger for Blaine to follow. “Listen, there are a lot of pilots that come through here. Most of them Top Gun, looking to be the best of the best. So why don’t you show me how you’re different. Because right now, you’re pretty much just like almost every other pilot I’ve known.” He slid into a booth. “Not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s not going to get me to agree to anything other than maybe a drink.” Hunter smiled at Blaine. “You’re kind of cute, though.”

Tristan watched as Sam left and Blaine and Hunter slipped away out of sight. “I don’t know, he seems to like Blaine just fine.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Anderson wouldn’t be the first guy to crash and burn compared to you in the sky because he was too busy thinking with his dick and not his head.”

Sebastian shrugged his shoulders. “I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

Blaine chewed his lip a bit as he slid into the booth with Hunter. He sipped his drink, “well for starters, I’m not necessarily looking for just that guy to sleep with. I like music, my job. I like staying up way too late and getting up way too early, and I wouldn’t mind having sex in there as well with someone who enjoys it as much as I.” He reached across the table, “answer something for me, how long have you lived here in Miramar?”

“Well that’s a little different,” Hunter admitted, with another sip of his drink. “What kind of music do you like? I’m not a huge night owl, but I can stay up if I have a reason. And I love getting up early, often before the sun.” He raised his eyebrows. “I definitely like sex.” Hunter leaned in as Blaine reached across. “I’ve been in Miramar for just over three years this time. Although I’m not here all the time. And I lived near here as a boy. My family is no stranger to the military lifestyle.”

Blaine looked at him with a smile, “all genres mostly classics pop, pop, anything British Invasion, particularly the Beatles.” He gave the other a warm smile, “maybe I’ve found my jogging partner, though I have to admit with as in shape as you look you would probably smoke me.” He chuckled and bit at his lip, “my dad flew, my brother flies and I fly, so my family is no stranger to it either.”

“British Invasion, isn’t that just basically boy bands except older?” Hunter teased. He grinned. “Smooth Blaine. But I have a feeling you could keep up with me. I’m more of a swimmer if I’m honest.” He tilted his head. “You said you love your job but I have to ask, did you enlist because of your family or was it really something you wanted? I’m not exactly unfamiliar with the family pressure to follow in those mighty footsteps.” Hunter swallowed the last of his beer and grinned. “Well Killer, I’ll take that drink if it’s still on the table.”

“Very funny,” he smiled and nodded, “then you’ll lap me in the pool if we ever go swimming.” He motioned to a waiter to bring them some more beers and then looked him in the eye, “I take pride in carrying on the family tradition.” He pressed his lips together, “there was some pressure, but I did it more as a way to get closer to them.”

“That I do believe,” Hunter said of lapping Blaine in the pool. “It's part of what drives me back here; the Pacific Ocean and swimming.” Blaine's gaze was unrelenting but in a good way; warm and full of fun. “I have a feeling there are a great many things you take pride in Blaine. So tell me, did it work? Are you close to them?”

Blaine chuckled but as hunter mentioned family he tensed up just a bit. He shrugged, “no we’re not as close as I would like, though I'm hoping now that I have some shore duty time I can resolve a bit of that. He sipped his beer not wanting to volunteer that his older brother was an instructor. He changed the subject. “What do you do for a living?”

“Is your family nearby then? Perhaps you're right and I do know them. Wouldn't that be fun.” Hunter leaned back into the booth. “A little of this and a little of that,” he hummed. “I work for myself, self-employed as a private contractor; I'm quite knowledgeable on several subjects.” Hunter smiled darkly. It would be beyond fun to see Blaine's face as he figured it out in the briefing the next day.

“A few of them yes,” Blaine said as he swallowed the last of his beer and checked the time, “a little of this and a little of that you say. Why don't you come back to my place and show me just how knowledgeable you are on certain subjects?” He made his way to slide out of the booth and stand.

Hunter swallowed down the last of his beer before tipping his head back in laugher. “I'm not sure if I should be impressed, flattered, or insulted that you think I'm that easy to just follow you home tonight.” Hunter met Blaine's gaze as they stood, though. “I have a really long day tomorrow and what I need now is an actual deep rem cycle sleep. And I'm familiar enough with Top Gun to know you'd be wise to do the same.”

“Yes dad,” Blaine quipped as he reached for a napkin and scribbled his cell number onto the paper before handing it to the other, “if you change your mind, call me.”

Hunters face softened slightly as he took the napkin, eyes darting down to the number. He looked at Blaine's lips as he stepped closer, his voice dropping to a whisper. “Oh! Is that what you're into?” He stepped back then, letting his eyes drag over Blaine once more. “See you around, Killer,” he said as he turned on his heel and left.

Sebastian would never admit he spent the majority of his game with Tristan distracted, as he searched the bar for Clarington and Anderson. Tristan had caught on quick enough and was determined to use it to his advantage before Sebastian attempted to take control again. He saw the two stand, Blaine leaning over the table to do something and if that wasn't the biggest tease, Sebastian didn't know what was. He sank the eight ball just as he saw Hunter walk away. “Thanks for the win Viper,” Sebastian called over his shoulder as he headed Blaine's way.

“Don't let him get to you Killer,” Sebastian said, arm wrapping around Blaine's shoulder. “Hunter’s never really played well with others.” He glanced behind Blaine checking him out up close before his lips twisted into a smirk. “Obviously, his loss too I'd say.”

“More like your loss Smythe,” Blaine said as he checked the other out as well, “don't we have somewhere to be at 0600. I suggest you pack up and head to your bed to actually get some real sleep.” He looked at him, “see you on the flight line.”